Andrew Lloyd Webber Reacts to Bad Cinderella Closing on Broadway | Playbill

Video Andrew Lloyd Webber Reacts to Bad Cinderella Closing on Broadway

The decorated composer also opines on the current state of Broadway.

As Andrew Lloyd Webber's 44-year-long reign on Broadway has come to an end—with the closing of his newest work Bad Cinderella, and the curtain drawn on his record-breaking musical The Phantom of the Opera—the composer sat down with CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Seth Doane to reflect on his career. See his full interview on CBS Sunday Morning above.

With seven Tony wins and 20 nominations, Lloyd Webber has certainly perfected the formula for a crowd-pleaser: a balanced blend of artistry and entertainment. "I have a deeply serious side, but I also do enjoy having a bit of fun," said Lloyd Webber. This is evident across his greatest works: Catswith its magical, mystical storytelling of a story that, when you look closely, hides a dark core; The Phantom of the Opera with both its acclaimed complexity and its spectacle; and even Jesus Christ Superstar balances the depth of its characters with rock ballads you can't resist singing along to.

Of course, with all his blockbusters, Lloyd Webber has also been known for a flop, but he isn't afraid of that risk. "People do love to put you in a box and say, 'that's what he or she does.' I can't be put in one." When asked what the secret is to not being put in that box, his answer is simple: "No secret, I just write what I want." 

Despite his accolades, Lloyd Webber's brand of musical theatre has not always been critically commended. When asked by Doane about the negative critical reception to Bad Cinderella, which just closed June 4, Lloyd Webber remarked, "I'm completely baffled how a show in London could have probably the best reviews of my career, what nerve it touched in New York which made everybody feel so bad about it."

But he also said that he hasn't read any of the reviews because of the recent death of his son Nicholas Lloyd Webber, who died on March 25 at the age of 43. "I don't think it really has completely sunk in yet," said Lloyd Webber. "I'm not sure I've dealt with it very's very hard to put into words but I think about him a lot and we hugely miss him."

Lloyd Webber does add that he worries for the ever-increasing risks that come with producing new work on Broadway. He remarked how, over the years, new work has gone from being a potential-but-understood risk to a sometimes inevitable one. Said Lloyd Webber, "I'm a bit worried about the future of Broadway. The running cost is so incredibly high, so Broadway is going to turn into the equivalent of 5th Avenue—where if you want to create a brand, you put it on Broadway knowing you're not ever going to really make much money, but they have to be there." He also notes that the average cost of tickets "can't sustain, as it stands." He expressed concerns that the only standing survivors on Broadway will be "big hits" and newer works will be quick fatalities.

And because the Tony Awards are this evening June 11, Lloyd Webber also shared his thoughts on award shows (which is appropriate because Bad Cinderella did not receive any Tony nominations). "You could get a Tony Award for putting up a bit of money and saying you're a producer. Someone puts $20,000 into a play and then the play wins Best Play and they can say, 'I'm a Tony Award-winning producer.'" 

Despite the looming pressure that chasing awards can bring, Lloyd Webber continually stresses that the important thing to him are the songs: "That's kind of what I do. Melody for me is everything. Melody and story."

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